The Tinker's Toolbox

I thought I would share the content creation tools I love (besides Unity).


Adobe Creative Cloud

I've had an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription since its been available. I use Adobe products all day, every day. My most used are:

  • Photoshop: I use Photoshop daily. I learned most of what I know about Photoshop from learning how to hand paint textures over UV maps (to create avatar clothing).
  • After Effects: I prefer to use After Effects for animation and video editing. (I've been developing a workflow between After Effects & Photoshop to create sprites for Unity.)
  • Adobe XD: I use this one mostly at work for design prototyping but I'm seeing potential for it in game dev as well (mocking up UI, flow etc)
  • Illustrator: I use this for vector illustration. I'm not a great hand drawer so I often like the precision of working with vectors.
  • Premiere: Editing video content. For the occasional random tutorial on youTube or home movies.
  • Dreamweaver: HTML, CSS, Javascript. Oh My. 10+ years in web development.
  • Adobe Audition: Mostly for re-saving sound files into the needed format or cleaning up loops.


Filter Forge

This is a plugin for Photoshop that I use all the time for creating textures. It's a node based filter tool that has a lifetime membership and a large library of user generated filters.


Trapcode Suite

This is a cool library of animation effects tools for After Effects advanced particle systems.


Blender

I do most of my 3D modelling in Blender - which is open source and has really evolved into a quality tool. It took me a good 2 years of running at blender to get comfortable with it and I'm probably still only using 20% of its functionality for the most part.


ZBrush

I've had a ZBrush license since 2007. I bought it for 70% off on a black Friday sale. Their license is perpetual so you get free software updates for as long as they are around. It's an amazing tool and I've barely scraped the surface of what it can do. I originally bought it for painting skins (it was one of the first with projection painting abilities back int he day) but I find niche places for it in my workflow on a regular basis.


XMD

This is a ZBrush add-on tool by Micheal Dunnam, he creates custom brushes for ZBrush and sells a one-time-payment lifetime subscription to his toolset (which is really quite useful). The ruins in my Deep Waters gamejam entry were from the IMM (Insert Multi-Mesh) Ruins brush set.


xNormal

I use this primarily to bake normal/displacement/ambient occlusion/projected base texture maps from a very high polygonal mesh into a lowpoly one. Comes in handy when working between Blender and ZBrush.


Marvelous Designer

This is a cloth simulation application that uses a pattern based approach (you draw 2D panels and match the seams and it auto-magically sews itself together - you can export the mesh when you're done for rigging in your preferred application. I've studied fashion design / pattern making though continuing education night classes a few years back so I come in with a clear understanding of how clothing fits on a human (avatar) and enjoy the process. I actually don't have a license for this presently but plan on renewing my subscription once I have some time to dedicate to playing with it.


Also on my want list is:

Substance Painter

It looks amazing. I'm saving the free trial for when I've got a few days off to focus on it.


I'm probably forgetting something obvious but these are the ones that come to mind. If you have a tools in your workflow that you think I should check out let me know!